After a two-day free agency flurry, the action has cooled significantly. The market is for buyers now, and each day that passes makes it more that way. Those players on the streets have, for the most part, lost their leverage. Teams have the advantage. The Eagles are continuing to monitor all, but the focus has shifted now to the NFL Draft in late April.
“We’re not done yet,” Howie Roseman said on Friday as he met the media following the additions of wide receivers
During this time, then, as the Eagles push the “pause” button during these slow days of free agency, let’s take a State of the Eagles look at things. What did the Eagles accomplish in the first couple of days of free agency? What areas must they address moving ahead?
THE IMPACT OF JEFFERY AND SMITH
In Smith, the Eagles have a receiver who can get behind defenses and stretch the field. If you watched San Francisco’s offense the last two seasons, you saw quarterbacks struggle to get the ball down the field. There wasn’t enough arm strength at times. The accuracy was lacking. Smith did his part, but the football just didn’t get to him. He will have the chance to do what he does best here: Beat cornerbacks with his speed and give the Eagles a home-run threat.
The receiving corps became a whole lot better with the additions. That doesn’t mean the Eagles should be done addressing the position, so we will see how the Eagles address wide receiver moving forward. As it stands now, Jeffery and Smith figure to line up outside, with
WHAT WARMACK AND WISNIEWSKI MEAN FOR THE OFFENSIVE LINE
Depth, depth, depth, and options. Look around the league and what do you see: Teams scrambling for help along the offensive line. Not here. It wouldn’t be a shock if the Eagles are finished addressing the offensive line. Now they have two groups of players that are going to push each other and give coach Jeff Stoutland a lot of confidence knowing he has quality starting experience up and down the depth chart.
How will it shake out? We shall see. The Eagles could probably pencil in
Not only do the Eagles have depth and an expected high level of competition in the months ahead, they have assets to deal should teams come calling. It’s not out of the question that the Eagles have some opportunities to acquire draft picks for some of these veteran reserve pieces at some point between now and the start of the regular season.
HOW DO THE EAGLES REPLACE CONNOR BARWIN?
Everyone understands why the Eagles released defensive end Connor Barwin – his nearly $8 million cost against the salary cap, his age, and his reduction in production. However, Barwin still played 70 percent of the snaps in 2016 and he ranked third on the team with 5.5 quarterback sacks and with 11 quarterback hurries.
So who steps up?
WHAT IS NEXT IN FREE AGENCY?
There are a lot of veterans still out there. There are a lot of good football players still on the streets. A glut of veteran running backs are available. Some really good interior defensive linemen are out there – Dontari Poe, Jonathan Hankins, and
So maybe the Eagles will get back in the game now that the market has settled considerably. They don’t have a lot of room within the salary cap, but didn’t we say that about this time last week?
AT WHAT OTHER POSITIONS DO THE EAGLES NEED TO ADD PUNCH?
You get the idea that the Eagles want to address as much of the roster as they can in free agency and in the draft, so keep that in mind. And other than maybe tight end and now offensive line, the Eagles can use more pieces. But at the top of the list, the Eagles need help throughout the defense, particularly at cornerback, end, and linebacker, and on offense they have to find more production at running back.
HOW DOES THE TRADE MARKET LOOK?
The Eagles reportedly were involved in a lot of trade talks last week, but nothing materialized. That doesn’t mean Roseman will stay quiet. Anything is possible, whether it is dealing veterans for draft picks or sending draft picks away for players the Eagles think can be productive here.
We’ve got a long way to go before April’s draft is here. Stay tuned. Anything can happen at any time, as we know from experience watching how Roseman and the Eagles operate.